Exercising for new mums
I think for me it was just about wanting to get back in my jeans.
I wanted to feel comfortable
and lose that extra baby weight, really.
First of all just make sure it's either six weeks post-vaginal birth
or ten weeks post-Caesarean section.
But in either case make sure you've had the go-ahead from your GP.
You may have to delay it further than six weeks
if you've had a difficult pregnancy.
For example, symphysis pubic pain or other muscular-skeletal problems.
You want to wait for that to resolve nicely
before you start any exercise regime.
I had a Caesarean section
so they advise after ten weeks to exercise.
I've been exercising for three weeks.
I like the walking. I'm not one for jogging!
The power walking is very good.
I'd recommend going out with your pram
three times a week for a brisk walk.
That solves two problems as well.
It helps you get some exercise,
and the baby will fall asleep in the pram.
With my first son, I did lots of walking afterwards.
When I had my second child, it was the same.
Initially what I did was just go for walks with the baby.
I also had a backpack so I carried him on my back.
Carrying the extra weight was extra exercise.
Walking's great from the word go.
Swimming is fantastic because it's gentle, it's low impact
but it's very good from an aerobic point of view.
Gentle jogging around the park and I'd go swimming.
From the word go, you can do your pelvic floor exercises.
The sooner you do those, the better.
(Liz) I've had two children and I definitely advise
doing pelvic floor exercises.
If you're going to do anything, do those exercises.
When you're pregnant
the weight of the uterus really pushes down on those muscles
and it can stretch them and, therefore, weaken them.
By doing the pelvic floor exercises,
you can restrengthen it back to pre-pregnancy strength,
and you'll find that you're able to cough or laugh or jump
without any embarrassing problems.
A rec check is checking that the walls of your abdominal muscles
have got back together.
You have a stomach check to see if the muscles have come back together.
If you exercise before they come back together, you can do damage.
Alright, so I'm going to put my index finger and middle finger
just above your belly button, side by side, backs of the fingers,
up towards the upper part of your body.
I'm going to push down.
Now just tighten up your stomach muscles.
I'm pushing down quite firmly. Don't come up just yet.
Now breathe in and now breathe out
and bring your head and shoulders off the floor.
All the time I'm just pushing down.
That's it and just relax.
I was feeling for whether your stomach muscles
were more or less than two-finger widths apart.
They're slightly more
so just stick to things like pelvic tilts,
tightening and release of your stomach muscles.
Nothing like crunches or twists or anything like that
because you risk making the separation worse.
Join an exercise class that specialises in post-natal exercise.
You'll feel better for it.
You'll feel like you're starting to get back to your old self.
(Woman) You think your life is over.
How am I going to exercise?
How am I going to do this with a baby?
It's good that you can bring your baby.
You can stop if you like, if the baby's crying.
So it's very flexible.
(Liz) Not only physically benefiting you.
Exercising is fantastic for the mental benefits as well.
It's about the exercise, meeting people, encouraging each other.
Everyone's in the same boat.
Most of my antenatal class... I've got them all to come along.
It's a chance to get together
and we're going to go to the pub afterwards and have lunch!
Take it really easy at first because prior to having a baby
you can really push yourself in an exercise class
and then you can collapse on the sofa.
When you've got a baby, you can't.
If you overdo it with the exercise too soon,
then your body will let you know
because your bleeding can start up again.
If there's any concerns, then you should see your GP.
You can tell if you're doing too much exercise too soon
by overwhelming fatigue.
Also, aching joints, such as knees, ankles, wrists, elbows,
all those kinds of areas.
It could be a sign you're doing too much
because you've got the hormone relaxin
still in your body which loosens up your joints.
If you are taking part in exercise,
you don't really want to be doing it with breasts full of milk.
It just wouldn't be comfortable.
So ideal times to work out would be after a baby's feed.
You also need to wear a sports bra.
Now the problem with some sports bras is that they compress your breasts.
So what you want to do is just wear your sports bra
for the duration of your work-out.
Breast-feeding is absolutely fantastic for getting back into shape
because it seems to me that the weight that you've put on
is kind of designed to be for the breast-feeding purposes.
If you eat sensibly and exercise sensibly,
then eventually you will lose the weight.
Just take it slowly.
Don't go on any crash diets, especially if you're breast-feeding.
You really need your energy.
Bear in mind that it took nine months to get to where you are,
and it will take a good nine months to get back to your pre-pregnancy figure.
(Liz) Be sensible. Eat lots of fruit and veg. Five a day.
Lots of vitamins. Plenty of water.
A good sensible amount to aim to lose per month is two kilos.
I feel progression every single week. I seem to loosen up a bit more.
I've been doing more exercise in my own time so it's great.
Don't give up. Don't feel like it's an impossible task.
Just sensible exercise, sensible diet.
Before you know it, you'll be back in your own jeans.